Guwahati got its first-ever Manhole Cleaning robot on Wednesday. The robot
named ‘BANDICOOT‘, will now clean manholes in Guwahati. This will mark an end to manual scavenging. The robot has been procured by Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). The robot was inaugurated by Guwahati Development Department (GDD) Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya. BANDICOOT robot is the first of its kind in the world and was developed by a Start-up Indian company called Genrobotics. It was developed under the Make in India initiative and was funded by CSR of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). Guwahati is the third city after Gurugram and Coimbatore to procure this technology to clean manholes. “Today, we have introduced a robotic mechanism for removal of sludge from underground drains. This equipment has been given to us by the Indian Oil Corporation. I am so thankful to them. Apart from that, we have also purchased six Skid Steer Loaders (mini loaders) from JCB and six Backhoe Loaders from CASE and BOBCAT companies each,” Bhattacharya said.
It is a great achievement in technological advancement as well as it also helps to eradicate the social backwardness of people of a specific group.
Manual scavenging is one of the biggest problems in our country, eradication of which considered to be an uphill task. But, after the introduction of robot BANDICOOT, it seems that this problem can be put to dust.
The Raheja Corporation as part of its CSR initiative funded the project of procurement of BANDICOOT robot at an estimated cost of Rs 32 lakhs which will terminate manual scavenging.
The robot goes inside the manhole and mimics the actions of manual scavengers, in order to complete its task.
BANDICOOT is designed in such a manner that it has two structures which accomplish the task. One is the robotic unit with an arm and four legs which enters the manhole and handles the cleaning operation. The other one is the control unit which remains outside the manhole, operated by a person to monitor the actions of the robot.
The robotic unit has a fixed, waterproof, night-vision camera that transmits 4K resolution videos and images in real-time, even in the presence of water.
The robot BANDICOOT has also various sensors to measure different environmental parameters like manhole dimensions, materials and chemicals inside the manhole, humidity, temperature and so on. The robotic arm has five degrees of freedom with 360-degree movement capacity. A bucket unit of 18 litres capacity is attached to collect waste.
The cleaning process can be done in two modes: automatic or semi-automatic. Automatic cleaning can be done to standard manholes. It is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) programs based on data collected by sensors. The robotic unit moves inside the manhole by itself and do the cleaning.
For non-standard manholes, the semi-automatic control is used. The human being controls the control panel and monitors the robot which is inside the manhole. Cleaning is done automatically.
Written by- Waniya Javed